Roger Ailes

Gregg Jarrett claims Roger Ailes saved him from alcoholism


After an embarrassing performance on the air, a trip to an alcohol rehabilitation clinic, a relapse and arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, and months of work at the Betty Ford Center, Gregg Jarrett has told the story of how he has been able to stay sober and get back to his job as an anchor at Fox News. And he claims that he couldn’t have done it without Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.

(Photo courtesy of Fox News)

(Photo courtesy of Fox News)

In an interview with TVNewser reporter Mark Joyella, Jarrett recalled that after he appeared to slur his words during a broadcast in April 2014, he walked into a meeting with Ailes and confessed that he had a serious drinking problem. Ailes, Jarrett said, guaranteed his job and worked with Fox News staff to get him checked into a rehabilitation clinic.

When Jarrett emerged from the clinic only to relapse and get arrested shortly afterwards, Ailes hired lawyers to defend him and secured a new bed for him at the Betty Ford Center. When Jarrett emerged from the center in August, Ailes eased him back into Fox News, eventually putting him back on the air in January.

“I don’t think I’d be here today if not for Roger,” Jarrett says of Ailes, who over the years has acquired a considerably different, less forgiving reputation. Read more


Fox News diversity program marks 10th year

Fox News Channel’s Ailes Apprentice Program has graduated its 10th class. The diversity initiative, launched by Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, provides four people a paid yearlong deep dive into Fox News’ operations. Vice President of Fox News Latino Francisco Cortes was a 21-year-old production assistant when he got the tap in 2003.

“I was thinking I was getting a call from the newsroom director because I did something wrong,” he said. Cortes, who had recently left the U.S. Army, called the program “boot camp for up and coming journalists.” He would learn about various departments and “the ABCs of the business” from company executives he said, and the year culminated in meeting Ailes.

“You’re not just given a certificate, given a pat on the back,” Cortes said. “You’re given continued mentorship after that, continued support from Mr. Ailes and his executive team.”(Cortes, a network executive, said he still refers to Ailes as “Mr.” – a habit he attributes to his military background.)



Bryan Llenas works as an on-air reporter for Fox News and an online reporter for Fox News Latino. He joined Fox in 2010 after graduating from the University of Miami and was selected for the program that fall. He appreciated the overview of the network operations but already knew he wanted to be a reporter, he said: “For me, it was less about figuring out what I wanted to do and more about learning from people who are already there.”

Ailes was very much a presence during his apprenticeship, Llenas said. They had lunch together and he attended many of the program’s events. “He knows your name, he knows where you’re at, he’s there at graduation,” he said.

The program brought in journalists from then corporate sibling The Wall Street Journal to address participants. They talked about things they were proud of, and things they wish they could redo.

“Look, I haven’t taken a normal track to be a reporter,” Llenas said. “In school, they tell you you should go to a local station. I took a chance and I came to this program and you learn, yeah, it is about taking chances. That was the biggest thing for me: There is no right path to the top.”



Llenas said the benefits don’t attend only to participants but are also a way to increase diversity at Fox News. “We bring in people that are talented to bring in other people in their networks,” he said. “This is a chance to really help other people get their foot in the door.”

Llenas also said the platforms the network provides him have given him the opportunity to tell stories that might not have made it on Fox otherwise, like one about Teresa Ortíz, a woman from El Salvador who explained why she entered the U.S. without legal permission.

“When you put a story like that on a platform like the Fox News channel, it gets amplified,” Llenas said. “This wasn’t a story that was put on in garbage time.”

Fox’s program is “One of the most successful and comprehensive apprenticeship initiatives I’ve observed,” Hugo Balta, the former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, told Poynter. “The attention given to [participants] by seasoned professionals who answer their questions and guide them on the path to success is invaluable,” he said. “Alums are the true legacy of the APP; talented young people who have gone on to successful careers thanks in great part for having undergone through the experience.”

After he graduated, Cortes helped develop Fox News Latino, an opportunity he said he might not have gotten without going through the program. The program is “special to Fox News, it’s special to Mr. Ailes, it’s the reason it’s lasted 10 years.” Read more


Zakaria plagiarized in TV show, critics say

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Zakaria plagiarized in TV show, critics say: Mysterious media critics @blippoblappo and @crushingbort tell Poynter they will have another post on Our Bad Media later this morning outlining what they say are examples of Fareed Zakaria lifting text, this time for his CNN show, “GPS.” Here’s a video that will accompany the piece.

    @blippoblappo and @crushingbort’s last post, in August, outlined suspect passages in Zakaria’s 2008 book, “The Post-American World” and in stories in Newsweek and Foreign Affairs. Neither W.W. Norton, which published the book, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs nor Atlantic Media, where Zakaria is now a contributing editor, replied to Poynter’s requests for comment.

  2. Foley family describes frustrations with U.S. government: The FBI first told James Foley‘s family they’d be prosecuted if they paid ransom to his captors, then advised them prosecution would be unlikely, Rukmini Callimachi reports. “Once the family made it clear they wanted to pay, the bureau instructed them to stall, according to a consultant working on the hostage crisis.” (NYT) | “A policy against paying ransoms makes sense — but making the family of a captured journalist feel like criminals does not.” (Vox) | “It was very upsetting because we were essentially told to trust… that the way they were handling things would bring our son home,” Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, said last week. (ABC News) | The family’s new fund “will push for the discussion, development and coordination of policies that are consistent, transparent, and accountable to all American citizens held captive world-wide.” (James W. Foley Legacy Fund)
  3. RCFP hires a litigation director: Katie Townsend will help the organization sue those who impede newsgathering. (CJR) | “The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) filed an application on Friday with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg challenging current UK legislation on mass surveillance and its threat to journalism.” (Index on Censorship)
  4. Free cops for Fox News honcho: “According to police records obtained by Gawker, the Cresskill [New Jersey] Police Department supplies 24/7 security to [Roger] Ailes’ residence there—apparently at no cost to Ailes himself—and otherwise delivers on-demand police services to his family, regardless of whether or not they are in any obvious danger.” (Gawker)
  5. Julian Assange did a chat on Gawker: “Opinion polling from the US just two months ago shows that WikiLeaks has majority support of people under the age of 40,” Assange told PootMcFruitcakes in the chat. (Gawker) | “Pale nerd king,” “seed-spilling sex creep,” “Real-life The Matrix extra”: Abby Ohlheiser on Gawker’s history of describing Assange. (WP)
  6. What newspapers can do: They have to offer “engaging and worthwhile material,” Rem Rieder writes, conveying API chief’s Tom Rosenstiel‘s speech at the ASNE convention Monday. “They certainly are not going to out BuzzFeed BuzzFeed at the clickbait game.” (USA Today) | Alexander Nazaryan: Journalism might not be saved, but “it isn’t quite as doomed as we thought several years ago.” (Newsweek)
  7. Let’s talk about native ads: California Sunday Magazine, which plans a launch next month, will feature “story advertising” — “We are doing one series of story advertising with Nest that feels like a gallery exhibit with prominent illustrators and artists and what home means to them,” Chas Edwards tells Kara Swisher. “But we are also making sure we are very transparent.” (Re/code) | Josh Benton: “Why is native advertising so appealing to publishers? Let’s start with the obvious: money. You may have heard that a lot of news companies are in need of it.” (Nieman) | The New York Times Monday published the second of four planned native ads on Mashable. The first was called “11 Inspiring Videos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity.” (Poynter)
  8. No comment from the bespokesperson?: The New York Times used the word bespoke “more than any other US publication in the past three months, according to a Nexis search, with “bespoke” appearing nearly three dozen times, excluding in proper names.” (CJR)
  9. Front page of the day, selected by Kristen Hare: The Buenos Aires Herald fronts a photo of a man who signals his support of Scottish independence with a complicated hairstyle. (Courtesy the Newseum)


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Ryan Nobles is now a national correspondent for CNN. Previously, he was an anchor and reporter for WWBT in Richmond, Virginia. (CNN) | Preetma Singh has been named market director for Nylon. Formerly, she was market editor at WSJ Magazine. She’s also the drummer for Vomitface. (Email) | Danielle Jones has been named executive vice president for expansion at Politico. Previously, she was deputy editor-in-chief there. Miki King has been named executive vice president for operations at Politico. Previously, she was senior vice president of business development there. (Politico) | Carol Morello will be a diplomatic correspondent at The Washington Post. She covers the census and demographics there. (The Washington Post) | Theodore Kim is now a homepage editor at The New York Times. Previously, he was a mobile and tablet editor at The Washington Post. (Sched) | Marin Cogan will be a contributing editor at New York Magazine. She’s a writer-at-large for the National Journal. (Politico) | Tim Evans will be a consumer advocate for The Indianapolis Star. Previously, he was a court reporter there. (@starwatchtim) | Les Zaitz has been named investigations editor at The Oregonian. He is a senior investigative reporter there. (Email) | Job of the day: The San Jose Mercury News is looking for a Silicon Valley reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: Read more

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Vanity Fair excerpts Zev Chafets’s biography of Roger Ailes:

For months, Roger Ailes and I had been meeting regularly at Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, at his home in Putnam County, and at public and private gatherings. In that time I got a closer look at Roger Ailes than any journalist who doesn’t work for him ever has. He is plainspoken, wryly profane, caustic, and above all competitive …

[News Corp. CEO Rupert] Murdoch often drops by Ailes’s office to joke and gossip about politics. “Roger and I have a close personal friendship,” he told me. Ailes agrees—up to a point.


Zev Chafets, Vanity Fair book excerpt


Woodward scoop: Murdoch and Fox News chief Ailes tried to get Petraeus to run for president

The Washington Post | Fox News
Bob Woodward reports that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes had a Fox analyst visiting Afghanistan deliver a message to Gen. David Petraeus in 2011 — that the general should demand to be appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or else resign and run for president.

From Woodward’s scoop:

The Fox News chairman’s message was delivered to Petraeus by Kathleen T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst and former national security and Pentagon aide in three Republican administrations. She did so at the end of a 90-minute, unfiltered conversation with Petraeus that touched on the general’s future, his relationship with the media and his political aspirations — or lack thereof. The Washington Post has obtained a digital recording from the meeting, which took place in Petraeus’s office in Kabul.

Read more

Roger Ailes tells journalism students: ‘I think you ought to change your major’

The Herald-Sun | News14 | Daily Tar Heel
The Fox News Chairman and CEO spoke to about 350 people, including young journalists, Thursday as part of a special lecture series at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He started by telling them to change majors, which, Melody Butts reports, “elicited at least a few eye rolls.” Here’s what else he said: Read more


Ailes: ‘If someone offers me a job in June ’13, I may just take it’

Associated Press
It was in February 1996 that Roger Ailes began creating an all-news network to challenge CNN and upstart MSNBC. “It was a risky move,” the Fox News chief tells Frazier Moore. “I realized at my age that if I screwed up, or it didn’t work, I’d probably never work again. You just don’t go out when you’re over 55 years of age, have a colossal failure and expect to find work in your field again.” Fifteen years ago this Friday — on Oct. 7, 1996 — Fox News Channel signed on, and little more than five years later, it topped rival CNN in viewership for a full month, reports Moore. Some highlights from his interview with the 71-year-old Ailes:

Why Fox News Channel has won against its rivals for a decade
“The consistency of our product. I think we do better television than the other guys, and no matter how we do it, they don’t seem to catch up. We seem to out-invent them and think ahead of them, and have better story ideas, better graphics, better on-air talent. We just are better television producers.”

What the passing years have taught him
“I don’t rise to the occasion when there’s no occasion. When there is an occasion, I will do what I have to do, and I will win. Is that mellowing? I tend to see it more as picking my battles a little better than I used to. That’s probably the best thing I’ve learned: to save it for when you need it, because when you need it, you have to win.”

His thoughts on renewing his contract, which runs out in June of 2013.
“The bad news, is, I just went to my doctor and he said, ‘Other than arthritis, your chart reads like a 40-year-old’s. You’re old, you’re fat and you’re ugly, but you’re not going to die from any of those things immediately.’ So if I still feel like this and somebody offers me a job in June of ’13, I may just take it.”

About a rival anchor
“Wolf Blitzer is an excellent reporter, but he’s not a star.” With the format of the CNN show calling for Blitzer to highlight visuals on the “news wall” behind him, “he spends half of his time with his back to the camera. I like Wolf. I think he’s a good journalist. But I get offended that his back is to the camera.”

About one of his talkers
“I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings.” Read more


Memo from 1970: ‘A Plan for Putting the GOP on TV News’
John Cook found “a remarkable document buried deep within the Richard Nixon Presidential Library” that addresses how to circumvent the “prejudices of network news” and deliver “pro-administration” stories to heartland television viewers. (A Romenesko reader points out that the memo was noted in the 1994 book, “SpinControl.”)

The memo – called, simply enough, “A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News” – is included in a 318-page cache of documents detailing [Roger] Ailes’ work for both the Nixon and George H.W. Bush administrations that we obtained from the Nixon and Bush presidential libraries. Through his firms REA Productions and Ailes Communications, Inc., Ailes served as paid consultant to both presidents in the 1970s and 1990s, offering detailed and shrewd advice ranging from what ties to wear to how to keep the pressure up on Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the first Gulf War.

The memo explains why television was the way to go:

Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication. The reason: People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.

Cook says the documents — drawn mostly from the papers of Nixon chief of staff H.R. Haldeman and Bush chief of staff John Sununu — reveal Ailes to be a tireless television producer and joyful propagandist. “He was a feared figure, known back then for the cut-throat brand of corporate politics that has served him so well at News Corp,” writes Cook. But Ailes was essentially fired by Nixon after he was quoted disparaging the president in “The Selling of the President 1968.” While Ailes was being shown the door, a memo to Haldeman warned that media strategist could go rogue if he wasn’t handled properly.


2009: Ailes for president?; “No one knows how to win better”
2008: “I don’t care what people say about me,” says Ailes
2007: Ailes says you can thank him for putting Bartiromo on the air
2006: Fox News will be fine if I’m run over by a bus today, says Ailes
2005: Tina Brown: Nothing distracts Ailes from his business goals
2004: Ailes says LAT editor John Carroll owes Fox News an apology
2003: Ailes says it’s the unfair journos who question Fox’s balance
2002: NYT says Ailes shouldn’t be doing double duty as Bush adviser Read more

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Ailes says it’s ‘fiction’ that he travels with a large security detail

The Daily Beast | Adweek
The Fox News chief also denies Rolling Stone’s report about having blast-resistant office windows. Roger Ailes is asked by Howard Kurtz about Rolling Stone’s charge that he’s “built the most formidable propaganda machine ever seen outside of the Communist bloc.” Ailes does a bit of jujitsu, writes Kurtz, accusing NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and the rest of running “a liberal propaganda machine … If they did fair and balanced news, we’d be out of business.” || Meanwhile, Michael Wolff claims the Ailes profiles in Rolling Stone and New York fail to capture the essence of the Fox News chairman.

The articles are right in seeing Ailes in a losing position, but only because there is nothing left to win. For both Murdoch and Ailes, the next generation is an inevitable, if also a distracted and uncertain, force—which will show them to the door.

Ailes ought to be a figure of awe, as much as opprobrium. If you don’t get the singularity of the man, you don’t get the man, the likes of whom, for better or worse, we won’t see again.

Read more


Ailes wants to elect a president, but he can’t find a candidate

New York Magazine
All the 2012 candidates know that Fox News chief Roger Ailes is a crucial constituency. “You can’t run for the Republican nomination without talking to Roger,” a GOPer tells Gabriel Sherman, who is writing a book on Fox News. “Every single candidate has consulted with Roger.” But he hasn’t found any of them compelling. “He finds flaws in every one,” says a person familiar with his thinking. Another adds: “He thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she’s stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven’t elevated the conservative movement.” || More from Sherman’s cover story:

Last week, Ailes turned 71. He’s spending considerable time thinking about his legacy. It bothers him that he’s still regarded as an outsider. “He doesn’t want to be hated,” a GOPer who knows Ailes well said. “It really bothers him. You can’t gross a billion a year and retain an outlaw sensibility forever.”

In the halls of Fox News, people do not want to be caught talking about what will happen to Fox News after the Ailes era. The network continues to be Ailes’s singular vision, and he’s so far declined to name a successor. One possibility in the event Ailes departs when his contract is up in 2013 is that Bill Shine could continue to oversee prime time and Michael Clemente would run the news division. But more than one person described fearing Lord of the Flies–type chaos in the wake of Ailes’s departure, so firm has his grip on power been.

David Brock: If I take down Fox News, all is forgiven? Read more

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